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Old 05-12-2024, 05:32 PM   #1
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I made the basement A/C extractable...

After 24 years, the time has come to do some maintenance on my motorhome (now Italian-American), precisely on the Coleman-Mach, a 6535-871 model.

Unfortunately, the way in which the air conditioner is made and installed makes routine maintenance very difficult and expensive.

So I decided together with a friend to modify the way in which the air conditioner was mounted and I decided to place it on some sliding guides that allow me to extract it easily, as if it were a drawer, making maintenance extremely simple and quick.

With this system it is possible to extract, clean, disinfect and maintain the air conditioner once a year and even more, without difficulty.

I wonder why Winnebago didn't think of this.

Obviously, to avoid inappropriate movements when moving the vehicle I used a redundant locking system.

I attach some photos to help you understand the changes made.

I won't tell you the stupidities I found when opening the unit.

I wonder how Coleman-Mach made an AC unit without insulating the refrigerant lines in any way!

Obviously I insulated everything, lubricated everything that can be lubricated and replaced the screws - where possible - with stainless steel.

And I can't tell how much rust inhibitor and zinc spray I used in the air conditioner and everything around it!

I am really very very happy!

We welcome criticism, suggestions, tomatoes, eggs (fresh) and applause.
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Old 05-18-2024, 12:01 AM   #2
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Will the drawer slides allow the unit to come out enough to replace the return air duct seal? Every time I pull my 6535 the return air duct seal tears some.
The unit weighs 200#, accounting for dynamic loading the slides should be rated at 500# IMO, because any shifting can damage that return air seal.
I bought a hydraulic table to aid in working on mine, makes it a one-man job for this 81 yr old man.
I ran new wiring and moved the ODFM capacitor into the electrical box with the rest of the capacitors. This eliminates having to pull the unit and remove the top cover just to replace the cap.
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Old 05-19-2024, 04:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Will the drawer slides allow the unit to come out enough to replace the return air duct seal? Every time I pull my 6535 the return air duct seal tears some.
The unit weighs 200#, accounting for dynamic loading the slides should be rated at 500# IMO, because any shifting can damage that return air seal.
I bought a hydraulic table to aid in working on mine, makes it a one-man job for this 81 yr old man.
I ran new wiring and moved the ODFM capacitor into the electrical box with the rest of the capacitors. This eliminates having to pull the unit and remove the top cover just to replace the cap.


Congratulations on turning 81, I'm a 58 year old old man.

I am also a military, but still in service.

As you can see from the photo, the guides allow the air conditioner to exit almost completely outside, so much so that the top cover can be easily removed.

To remove it I just have to cut the plastic ties that hold the power cables to the frame and unscrew 3 screws that block the ventilation duct on the body of the air conditioner.

Obviously I also have to unscrew two locking plates that I placed in front of the air conditioner for safety. The slide rails have their locks but I like to play it safe and added two bolted metal plates.

Note that the guides themselves should be mounted laterally, unfortunately there are no spaces to do so, so I mounted them underneath and took them oversized for the weight they should support.

The guides pictured hold up to 200 kg (440 pounds) and extend up to 50 cm (19.6 inches). I placed 4 of them on anti-vibration rubber mats.

This way you can easily remove the air conditioner, unscrew the cover and easily clean, lubricate and disinfect it.

When I'm done I close everything and reinsert it as if it were a drawer in its cabinet. Fantastic!

This way at least once a year you can safely open it and do what is needed.

I'm surprised Winnebago didn't think of this at the factory.

I also thought about bringing all the capacitors close to the electronic board, but now that I have this extraction system I no longer need to do it.

I will soon replace the two hard start capacitors with SPP4s, hoping they will give me a softer start.
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Old 05-19-2024, 05:45 PM   #4
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Congratulation Tony! Your write-up and pictures are a great addition to the information concerning RVP basement units.
Your thread is now in my bookmarks for basement A/C-heat pumps. I tend to think of it as Winnebago basement units, however there are other brands that used RVP basement units; BTW, RVP was the division of Coleman Mach that handled this basement unit.
If I were not near the end of my traveling days, I'd follow your instructions and do the same for my basement unit, but by the time it requires more servicing I'll be gone.



Off-topic, I would like to extend an invitation to join S.M.A.R.T.=Special Military Active Recreational Travelers. This is an RVing club for active and retired military from the U.S.A. and Canada. We have members from reserve branches all the way up to a retired Army General.
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:10 AM   #5
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Congratulation Tony! Your write-up and pictures are a great addition to the information concerning RVP basement units.
Your thread is now in my bookmarks for basement A/C-heat pumps. I tend to think of it as Winnebago basement units, however there are other brands that used RVP basement units; BTW, RVP was the division of Coleman Mach that handled this basement unit.
If I were not near the end of my traveling days, I'd follow your instructions and do the same for my basement unit, but by the time it requires more servicing I'll be gone.



Off-topic, I would like to extend an invitation to join S.M.A.R.T.=Special Military Active Recreational Travelers. This is an RVing club for active and retired military from the U.S.A. and Canada. We have members from reserve branches all the way up to a retired Army General.



I remind you that could even reach 120 years of age, who gave you permission to demobilize at 81?

At worst, give a little money to a good, willing young and he will do the job for you.

I often have little time and do this, I pay some days of work to an unemployed technician, so I also do a bit of good.

I can't get into SMART because I'm serving in the Italian Army, not the US Army.
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Old 05-20-2024, 02:33 PM   #6
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Tony, S.M.A.R.T. has auxiliary Membership status. I don't think when the charter was written they ever though of overseas military. You would make us a world-wide organization.


You have one of 481 Winnebago Ultimates ever built, which was between 1999.5 and 2004.5. The Ultimate lineup was the most luxurious MH Winnebago ever built during those years.
I have a friend with a 2004 Newmar Essex, he said mine has more features than his essex, which was at the time Newmars top of the line.
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:27 AM   #7
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Why didn't I think of that. An amazing and useful mod.

What has to be disconnected in order to pull the drawer out?
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:36 AM   #8
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Tony, S.M.A.R.T. has auxiliary Membership status. I don't think when the charter was written they ever though of overseas military. You would make us a world-wide organization.


You have one of 481 Winnebago Ultimates ever built, which was between 1999.5 and 2004.5. The Ultimate lineup was the most luxurious MH Winnebago ever built during those years.
I have a friend with a 2004 Newmar Essex, he said mine has more features than his essex, which was at the time Newmars top of the line.

A 2000 Winnebago 38K, sturdy, beautiful and comfortable.

Winnebago only made 481? So few? I thought it was some thousand.

I still have the original invoices from the first owner. I seem to remember that he paid about $215,000 for it.

I have completely renovated it but it is still recognisable.
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:48 PM   #9
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Why didn't I think of that. An amazing and useful mod.

What has to be disconnected in order to pull the drawer out?

As you can see from the photo, the guides allow the air conditioner to exit almost completely outside, so much so that the top cover can be easily removed.

To remove it I just have to cut the plastic ties that hold the power cables to the frame and unscrew 3 screws that block the ventilation duct on the body of the air conditioner.

Obviously I also have to unscrew two locking plates that I placed in front of the air conditioner for safety. The slide rails have their locks but I like to play it safe and added two bolted metal plates.

Note that the guides themselves should be mounted laterally, unfortunately there are no spaces to do so, so I mounted them underneath and took them oversized for the weight they should support.

The guides pictured hold up to 200 kg (440 pounds) and extend up to 50 cm (19.6 inches). I placed 4 of them on anti-vibration rubber mats.

This way you can easily remove the air conditioner, unscrew the cover and easily clean, lubricate and disinfect it.

When I'm done I close everything and reinsert it as if it were a drawer in its cabinet. Fantastic!

This way at least once a year you can safely open it and do what is needed.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:49 PM   #10
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Tony,

Did you notice any improvement in the cooling after insulating all the lines?

The only mod I did on mine was sweat in a fitting to recharge it....
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:25 AM   #11
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Tony,

Did you notice any improvement in the cooling after insulating all the lines?

The only mod I did on mine was sweat in a fitting to recharge it....

From a glance I would say that the air coming out of the vents is colder.
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Old 05-23-2024, 10:44 AM   #12
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Tony,
First off, what a great mod! I've built a few hundred cabinets in my life as well as outfitting new fire trucks to prep them for service. And that involved lots of creative thinking in terms of cabinets, drawers, shelves, different materials and more.

With all that being said, I don't think I saw it in any of the responses but, may I ask, what brand of drawer slides did you use, Blum, Accuride, what? And based on your description and pics, it appears they're what's called "Full Extension" correct?

Another question would be, since the duct for those basement A/C units is typically held in place with either Tek screws or standard Phillips head screws that screw the duct flange and foam seal, to the side of the basement A/C cage, is yours still that way or, did you create some nice fitting mating seal that requires no fasteners? Very nice work Sir, OUTSTANDING!

Oh, and one more question, at least on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP, that basement A/C unit must be LOWERED by around maybe 1-1 1/2" inches to clear the hinge for the louvered slotted door BEFORE it can be slid out of it's frame. Is yours that way or, did you not have to lower yours at all before it could be slid out? Forgive me if any or all of these questions have been addressed.
Scott
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:18 PM   #13
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That is a vital question Scott. I hadn't thought of that. My mount requires 2 long bolts be loosened to lower the front about 1.5" so the unit can clear the angle iron frame around the top. The tilts the front down while the rear pivots on bolts at the rear of the lower frame.
That means I cannot use this terrific idea.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:28 PM   #14
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Tony,
First off, what a great mod! I've built a few hundred cabinets in my life as well as outfitting new fire trucks to prep them for service. And that involved lots of creative thinking in terms of cabinets, drawers, shelves, different materials and more.

With all that being said, I don't think I saw it in any of the responses but, may I ask, what brand of drawer slides did you use, Blum, Accuride, what? And based on your description and pics, it appears they're what's called "Full Extension" correct?

Another question would be, since the duct for those basement A/C units is typically held in place with either Tek screws or standard Phillips head screws that screw the duct flange and foam seal, to the side of the basement A/C cage, is yours still that way or, did you create some nice fitting mating seal that requires no fasteners? Very nice work Sir, OUTSTANDING!

Oh, and one more question, at least on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP, that basement A/C unit must be LOWERED by around maybe 1-1 1/2" inches to clear the hinge for the louvered slotted door BEFORE it can be slid out of it's frame. Is yours that way or, did you not have to lower yours at all before it could be slid out? Forgive me if any or all of these questions have been addressed.
Scott


Thanks for your appreciation.

If by great mod you mean a huge job yes, you're right. If you were referring to the aesthetic side, I don't think I've done much, there are many RVs that are stupendous and arouse wonder.

I wanted to pay attention to simplicity, economy and robustness. I would have liked to give my Winnebago a much more pleasant color, but in the end I gave in to a simple principle: the all-white bodywork helps me save on air conditioning. In Italy it's hot in the summer, if I had used a nice metallic brown and gold color I would have had to spend a fortune on electricity.

The white is also easier to touch up in case of scratches and small damages.

I honestly don't remember the brand of the guides, but they are European brands that I don't think you would find in the USA. The capacity is 200 kg (440 lbs) each and there are 4 of them, I played it safe and oversized them by a lot.

I proceeded to clean up the duct flange and glued a thin gasket to it. The flange is screwed onto the air conditioner using three screws that tighten it via a stainless steel plate with corresponding holes.

You're right, the frame that supports the air conditioner was modified by me and reinforced with some welding and is now blocked in a higher position so that the air conditioner can slide like a large drawer.

The guides are bolted to the frame and to the air conditioner itself. Where needed I used self-locking nuts. I have tried to replace - where possible - all screws, nuts and bolts using only stainless steel.

The guides have safety blocks, however to be on the safe side I bolted two steel plates between the frame and the air conditioner equipped with rubber pads.

The electric motors were dismantled and carefully cleaned using engine washer fluid. Instead of ball bearings, the original engines had lubrication pads protected by some yellow plastic caps. I remade the swabs using pressed cotton that I soaked in motor oil added with fullerene.

Needless to say, I changed all the capacitors. I left the original electronic board which was still in excellent condition, I just cleaned it with special flux spray and tested the main components with the electronic tester. This is a Watsco Components Inc. board with code 6795A320, or 6795B320 or 6795*320.

The testing gave a completely positive result.

I forgot to say something to all the older guys who read me. You know, I'm not infallible unfortunately and even the Titanic sank due to many small design and construction errors. If there is something wrong, let me know, I gladly accept criticism and corrections, especially if there are people who are experts on the subject.

Next step: replacing lead-acid batteries with LiFePO4 batteries.
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Old 05-24-2024, 03:33 PM   #15
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That is a vital question Scott. I hadn't thought of that. My mount requires 2 long bolts be loosened to lower the front about 1.5" so the unit can clear the angle iron frame around the top. The tilts the front down while the rear pivots on bolts at the rear of the lower frame.
That means I cannot use this terrific idea.

You're right, the frame that supports the air conditioner was modified by me and reinforced with some welding and is now blocked in a higher position so that the air conditioner can slide like a large drawer.
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Old 05-24-2024, 08:45 PM   #16
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Thank you Tony.
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Old 05-25-2024, 04:58 PM   #17
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Thank you Tony.

If I understand correctly, you worked at Winnebago.

Can you tell me why Winnebago installed a double lung in the water system in the Ultimate Advantage? That is, a pump with a lung and then a second lung a short distance away.

If you look at the photo below you will notice a lung under the electric pump and another vertically a short distance away.

There is no trace of it in the official Winnebago diagrams.

I wonder for what purpose?
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Old 05-25-2024, 08:18 PM   #18
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Nope, I've never worked for Winnebago nor even visited any of their manufacturing facilities. Your picture shows an unusual design and configuration. The right side of your picture is exactly like my MH, but I can see no reason for the left side accumulator tank. Being installed on its side means water cannot be drained for winterizing.( accumulator air pressure is 20psi)
It would be interesting to learn the logic of whomever installed that left-side accumulator tank. The tank in the back is OEM design.



An aside; The opaque plastic tank and 12V solenoid-operated winterizing valves were made by Swan Industries. Modernized valves are still sold by Swan, but the price is outrageous IMO. Universal 12V valves are available for much less elsewhere.
These 2 valves tend to stick from non-use, I removed, disassembled mine, then cleaned and installed new O-rings to restore function.
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Old 05-25-2024, 09:01 PM   #19
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Tony, you might find this useful:
WINNEBAGO MODEL IDENTIFICATION: De-coding the Model Number

A common topic of discussion is how to interpret the model identification for a specific Winnebago Industries, Inc. motor home. The use of letters and numbers is not really a secret code; they have a specific meaning when identifying one of our vehicles. The following chart helps to explain model identifications for the last ten years of Winnebago Industries, Inc. products. For example, a WKR40TD is a 40-foot Winnebago Tour on a Freightliner chassis. For the most part, the characters used in the first four positions of our model identifications have stayed consistent. The fifth position may have one or two characters, and identifies the floor plan configuration. These model identifications reflect standard equipment, and options such as chassis selection may vary with an individual coach. Your model identification can be found on your coach's certification label as shown in the example below.

FIRST CHARACTER = Division:
W = Winnebago
I = Itasca
U = Ultimate
R = Rialta

SECOND CHARACTER = Chassis Manufacturer:
C = Chevrolet
D = Dodge Sprinter
F = Ford
K = Freightliner
P = Workhorse
S = Spartan
V = Volkswagen

THIRD CHARACTER = Model Type:
1 = 100 Series H-Body Eurovan Camper
2 = 200 Series C-Body Access/lmpulse/RialtalVista/Sunstar
3 = 300 Series C-Body Minnie/Outlook/Spirit
4 = 400 Series C-Body Minnie Winnie/Sundancer
5 = 500 Series C-Body View/Navion
7 = 700 Series C-Body Aspect/Cambria
D = D-Series Sightseer/Sunova
E = E-Series Vista/Sunstar
F = F-Series BravelVoyage/Sunrise
G = G-Series Adventurer/Suncruiser (prior to 2009)
J = J-Series Adventurer (2009)
K = K-Series Suncruiser (2009)
L = L-Series Chieftain/Sunflyer
M = M-Series Destination/Latitude
P = P-Series Journey/Meridian/Horizon
Q = Q-Series Ultimate Advantage/Ultimate Freedom R-Series Tour/Ellipse
S = S-Series Vectra/Horizon

FOURTH CHARACTER = Indicates the approximate length of the motor home

FIFTH CHARACTER = Floorplan

ON THE COACH CERTIFICATION LABEL IS:
- Upper left - date vehicle was mfg by Winnebago Industries

- Top center - Chassis mfg and date chassis was mfg

- Bottom Left - s/n assigned by Winnebago
The 6th character of the s/n indicates the model year
5 = 1995 A = 2000 F = 2005
6 = 1996 B = 2001 G = 2006
7 = 1997 C = 2002 H = 2007
8 = 1998 D = 2003 J = 2008
9 = 1999 E = 2004 K = 2009

- Bottom Center - Winnebago product model name

- Bottom Right - VIN
10th character of the VIN indicates model year of the chassis
S = 1995 Y = 2000 5 = 2005
T = 1996 1 = 2001 6 = 2006
V = 1997 2 = 2002 7 = 2007
W = 1998 3 = 2003 8 = 2008
X = 1999 4 = 2004 9 = 2009

- Bottom Right - Interior base color

- Center - GVWR; GAWR for Frt & RR axles; Suitable tire size; Suitable rim size; Cold Inflation Pressure
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Old 05-26-2024, 03:05 PM   #20
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UKQ38K... Mine doesn't quite match.
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